COVID-19 hard-hit Nigerian broadcast industry has got some lifelines from the Federal Government in form of debt forgiveness.
A six-point measure to revamp the broadcast industry and reposition it for the challenges of business post-COVID-19 was announced on Monday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a news conference in Abuja.
Mohammed noted that the industry has been particularly hard-hit due to the dwindling revenues occasioned by dearth of advertisements and sponsored programmes in the wake of the pandemic.
The minister said: “Against this background, the management of the NBC has therefore recommended, and the Federal Government has accepted, the following measures to revamp the broadcast industry and to help reposition it for the challenges of business, post-COVID-19 :
“60 per cent debt forgiveness for all debtor broadcast stations in the country.
“The criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness is for debtor stations to pay 40 per cent of their existing debt within the next three months.
“Any station that is unable to pay the balance of 40 per cent indebtedness within the three months window shall forfeit the opportunity to enjoy the stated debt forgiveness.
“ The existing license fee is further discounted by 30 per cent for all Open Terrestrial Radio and Television services effective July 10th, 2020.
“The debt forgiveness shall apply to functional licensed Terrestrial Radio and Television stations only.
“ The debt forgiveness and discount shall not apply to pay-TV service operators in Nigeria.”
Mohammed announced that the effective date of the debt forgiveness will commence from July 10, 2020 to Oct. 6, 2020.
PerSecondnews recalls that the minister had held meetings with the broadcast industry on possible government intervention amid COVID-19.